Paco Pena - Chopin And Flamenco
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This new release from the NIFC label brings together the works of Fryderyk Chopin with the Spanish flamenco tradition under the direction of world renowned flamenco guitarist Paco Pena. Since 2005, the"Chopin and His Europe" festival has been hosted annually in Warsaw by the institiute. While Chopin's music is at the core of the celebrations, it is also known for its exploration of wide repertoire from the past to contemporary music, diverse genres from solo to orchestral music, and the gathering of high quality musicians who are active around the world.
This album commemorates the 200th anniversary of Chopin's birth, and features a commissioned work by flamenco guitar virtuoso Paco Pena, arranging Chopin's masterpieces for flamenco. While introducing the characteristics of flamenco, such as singing, dancing, and guitar, it also incorporates the elements of Chopin's masterpieces, and is an ambitious work that pursues new possibilities that have never existed before.
Just as Chopin's Bolero references a genre that in its original form was sung and danced, this programme showcases all the main components of flamencoâ€”guitar, voice and dance. Folk elements are integral to both flamenco and some of Chopin's dance forms, and the rhythmic deployment of feet and arms that so characterizes flamenco is certainly implicit in Chopin. In flamenco, the feet express anger or pain with a level of virtuosity that finds parallel in the greatest piano music. Nor are grace and poise exclusively Chopinesque concepts, yet the drama conveyed in flamenco â€” so intimate, so tragic â€” is clear in its form, another strength of Chopin's music. Even putting technique aside, we still find these otherwise very different art forms converging in their fearless passion, and it is little wonder that flamenco has often been used as a tool of political protest. As the composer of work that Schumann called 'cannons hidden beneath flowers', Chopin would surely have understood. (booklet excerpt)"Flamenco maestro Paco PeÃ±a salutes the great Romantic with a would-be melding of these two distinct musical worlds." â€“ BBC Music Magazine (3 STARS)
Chouchane Siranossian, Oh! Orchestra, Martyna Pastuszka